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To Will Well is of Grace

by John Calvin

"Because of the bondage of sin by which the will is held bound, it cannot move toward good, much less apply itself thereto; for a movement of this sort is the beginning of conversion to God, which in Scripture is ascribed entirely to God’s grace. So Jeremiah prayed to the Lord to be 'converted' if it were his will to 'convert him' [Jer. 31:18, cf. Vg.]. Hence the prophet in the same chapter, describing the spiritual redemption of the believing folk, speaks of them as 'redeemed from the hand of one stronger than they' [v. 11 p.]. By this he surely means the tight fetters with which the sinner is bound so long as, forsaken by the Lord, he lives under the devil’s yoke. Nonetheless the will remains, with the most eager inclination disposed and hastening to sin. For man, when he gave himself over to this necessity, was not deprived of will, but of soundness of will. Not inappropriately Bernard teaches that to will is in us all: but to will good is gain; to will evil, loss. Therefore simply to will is of man; to will ill, of a corrupt nature; to will well, of grace.

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 21:26 -- john_hendryx

Does God Only Hear and Answer our Prayers Based Upon our Victory Over Sin?

Answer: No. definitely not. He answers our prayers THAT WE MAY have victory over sin.  It is by the grace of God in Jesus Christ that we overcome sin. We come to Jesus empty handed.  We have nothing to offer but our sin.  Any good in us us purely the mercy and grace of God.  Christ is the Savior so He does not come to tell us how to save ourselves by overcoming sin first and then asking for help later..  We need grace not only to come to Him but also the daily grace to overcome sin.  No one overcomes sin in the power of the flesh.  So when we first come to Jesus we appeal to him to rescue us from the guilt AND power of sin  We do not pray "Lord deliver me from the guilt, but not the power of sin .. I got that part on my own..."  no, no, no ... so even as Christians we come to him daily in prayer for the wisdom, strength and power to live for him, for, left to ourselves, we have NO HOPE to overcome sin (or do any good in the world) whatsoever.  It is mercy alone that saves us and mercy alone that preserves us. 

So I would say, rather, that God answers our prayer when we confess our sin and acknowledge our utter impotence to obey him apart from grace. That is where God meets us. And that way, when we do good, or overcome sin, God get's all the glory.  If he only answered prayer based on our victory over sin it would be transactional ... based on works of the flesh rather than grace alone.  But we owe everything we have to Him so our lives ought to be one of ceaseless dependence (1 Cor 1:29-31, Phil 3:3). 

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 10:47 -- john_hendryx

Do the 10 Commandments Apply to the Christian?

Question: If I deny the transfer of the ten commandments from the old covenant into the new covenant, am I considered Reformed? I'm still covenantal?
 
Answer: What parts of this do you disagree with?
 
Q. 95. Of what use is the moral law to all men?
A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and will of God, and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly; to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives; to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery, and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and of the perfection of his obedience.
 
Lev. 11:44-45; Lev. 20:7-8; Rom. 7:12; Mic. 6:8; Jas. 2:10-11; Ps. 19:11-12; Rom. 3:20; Rom. 7:7; Rom. 3:9, 23; Gal. 3:21-22; Rom. 10:4.
 
Q. 96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, and under the curse thereof.
 
1 Tim. 1:9-10; Gal. 3:24; Rom. 1:20; Rom. 2:15; Gal. 3:10.
 
Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
A.
Thu, 03/29/2018 - 10:12 -- john_hendryx

The World in the Church

by J. Gresham Machen

"There are congregations, even in the present age of conflict, that are really gathered around the table of the crucified Lord; there are pastors that are pastors indeed. But such congregations, in many cities, are difficult to find. Weary with the conflicts of the world, one goes into the Church to seek refreshment for the soul. And what does one find? Alas, too often, one finds only the turmoil of the world. The preacher comes forward, not out of a secret place of meditation and power, not with the authority of God's Word permeating his message, not with human wisdom pushed far into the background by the glory of the Cross, but with human opinions about the social problems of the hour or easy solutions of the vast problem of sin. Such is the sermon...
 
Thus the warfare of the world has entered even into the house of God, And sad indeed is the heart of the man who has come seeking peace. Is there no refuge from strife? Is there no place of refreshing where a man can prepare for the battle of life? Is there no place where two or three can gather in Jesus' name, to forget for the moment all those things that divide nation from nation and race from race, to forget human pride, to forget the passions of war, to forget the puzzling problems of industrial strife, and to unite in overflowing gratitude at the foot of the Cross? If there be such a place, then that is the house of God and that the gate of heaven. And from under the threshold of that house will go forth a river that will revive the weary world."
 
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Excerpt Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen (Free ebook)
 
Wed, 03/28/2018 - 15:34 -- john_hendryx

16 Free eBooks by B. B. Warfield

The following free eBooks by Benjamin Warfield are available in ePub,.mobi and .pdf formats, accessible for your eReading device. These are classic works which are all highly recommended.  We believe no one should be held back from having a significant library of these important works because of cost so please spread the word to your friends so as many people as possible can make good use of this edifying literature.

Faith and Life (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Studies in Theology (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Biblical Doctrines (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

The Person of Christ According to the New Testament (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

The Power of God Unto Salvation (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

The Plan of Salvation (eBook by B. B. Warfield

Calvin and Calvinism (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Augustine & The Pelagian Controversy (eBook) by B. B. Warfield

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 17:44 -- john_hendryx

God Does Not Depend on Politics

"As Christians, we don't need to 'win' when it comes to politics. We don't need to tie our hopes to one party or react with fury when the other guy gets in, as though some mere human might thwart God's plans - as though God sits in heaven and says, 'Oh this democratic system is really messing things up. I can't achieve my plans now they voted for that one. They were meant to chose the other way!.' As the pastor Juan Sanchez puts it in his book 1 Peter for you:

"Our sovereign Lord knows what he is doing. Just as he wastes no suffering, he also doesn't waste any government appointment. We may not understand why a particular person is in power, but we can rest assured that our King does."

After all, this is his story, the end is already certain, and he is writing the script.

When we operate out of fear, we view the political arena as a place in which to legislate and control morality, or as a way to gain control of our world to protect ourselves, or as something altogether evil to be shunned. But those who operate out of courage see politics as a way to seek the common good, to promote human flourishing, and ultimately to love others.

Courage gives us the ability, in this age of unbelief, to speak positively and seek unity, to love those who disagree with us and seek to malign us, to be unsurprised and not angered when a society that rejects Christ does not line up its laws with those of Christ - and to keep on loving and seeking to bless.

That takes far more courage than opting out or getting mad.

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Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:35 -- john_hendryx

God’s Goodness is His Glory

by Stephen Charnock

The goodness of God is the most pleasant perfection of the Divine nature.

His creating power amazes us. His conducting wisdom astonisheth us. His goodness, as furnishing us with all conveniences, delights us and renders both His amazing power, and astonishing wisdom, delightful to us.

Just as the sun, by effecting things, is an emblem of God’s power, so also by discovering things to us, it is an emblem of His wisdom. But by refreshing and comforting us, the sun is an emblem of His goodness.

And without this refreshing virtue it communicates to us, we should take no pleasure in the creatures it produceth, nor in the beauties it discovers.

As God is great and powerful, He is the object of our understanding. But as good and bountiful, He is the object of our love and desire.

The goodness of God comprehends all His attributes. All the acts of God are nothing else but the streams of His goodness, distinguished by several names, according to the objects it is exercised about.

As the sea, though it be one mass of water, yet we distinguish it by several names, according to the shores it washeth, and beats upon. When Moses longed to see His glory, God tells him, He would give him a prospect of His goodness (Ex. 33:19): ‘I will make all My goodness to pass before thee.’

His goodness is His glory and Godhead, as much as is delightfully visible to His creatures, and whereby He doth benefit man: ‘I will cause My goodness,’ or ‘comeliness,’ as Calvin renders it, ‘to pass before thee.’

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 10:23 -- john_hendryx

A Humble Soul Overlooks His Own Righteousness

tbrooks.jpgby Thomas Brooks

A second property of an humble soul is this, He overlooks his own righteousness, and lives upon the righteousness of another, to wit, the Lord Jesus. So the apostle, (Philip. 3:8–10), overlooks his own righteousness, and lives wholly upon the righteousness of Christ: ‘I desire to be found in him,’ saith he, ‘not having mine own righteousness.’

Away with it, it is dross, it is dung, it is dog’s meat! It is a rotten righteousness, an imperfect righteousness, a weak righteousness, ‘which is of the law; but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,’ that is a spotless righteousness, a pure righteousness, a complete righteousness, an incomparable righteousness; and, therefore, an humble soul overlooks his own righteousness, and lives upon Christ’s righteousness.

Remember this, all the sighing, mourning, sobbing, and complaining in the world, doth not so undeniably evidence a man to be humble, as his overlooking his own righteousness, and living really and purely upon the righteousness of Christ. This is the greatest demonstration of humility that can be shewn by man, (Mat. 6:8).

Men may do much, hear much, pray much, fast much, and give much, &c., and yet be as proud as Lucifer, as you may see in the Scribes, Pharisees, Mat. 23, and those in Isa, 58:3, who in the pride of their hearts made an idol of their own righteousness: ‘Wherefore have we fasted,’ say they, ‘and thou seest it not? wherefore have we afflicted our souls, and thou takest no knowledge?’

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 19:54 -- john_hendryx

Rome Vs. Augustine on Free Will

In the decrees of the Council of Trent: Canons on Justification, Roman Catholics proclaim a curse (anathema) on anyone who affirms the loss of free will after the fall. it declares:

"If any one should affirm that since the fall of Adam man's free will is lost, let him be accursed."
----

By doing so, from all appearances, they are anathematizing their own Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine for he said precisely this on multiple occassions:

"Man when he was created received great powers of free will, but lost them by sinning." - Confessions

Can they do anything by the free determination of their own will? Again I say, God forbid. For it was by the evil use of his free-will that man destroyed both it and himself. For, as a man who kills himself must, of course, be alive when he kills himself, but after he has killed himself ceases to live, and cannot restore himself to life; so, when man by his own free-will sinned, then sin being victorious over him, the freedom of his will was lost.
Augustine, Enchiridion 30

"Without the Spirit man's will is not free, since it has been laid under by shackling and conquering desires." - Augustine, Letters cxlv 2 (MPL 33. 593; tr FC 20. 163f.)

"When the will was conquered by the vice into which it had fallen, human nature began to lose its freedom." - Augustine, On Man's Perfection in Righteousness iv 9 (MLP 44. 296; tr. NPNF V. 161)

"Through freedom man came to be in sin, but the corruption which followed as punishment turned freedom into necessity." - Augustine On Man's Perfection In Righteousness

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 19:04 -- john_hendryx

Preach Only the Christ of the Bible

by J. I. Packer

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.

We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.”

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From J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,”

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 19:54 -- john_hendryx

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